Marriage Equality, State by State


Last week, the Massachusetts legislature defeated a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriages—bucking a trend that has swept over more than a third of the country. Eighteen states already have a constitutional ban on same-sex nuptials. But plenty of these bans remain on the horizon. Here is where the issue stands, state by state.

Most recent anti-gay-marriage amendment approved by both the legislature and voters: Kansas, in April

• The 17 other states where bans exist: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah

• Amendments approved and scheduled for a popular vote: Texas (in November); Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee (all in 2006)

• Amendments now pending in legislatures: Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wisconsin

• Amendments requiring a second legislative vote: Virginia (in 2006), Indiana (in 2007)

• Amendments that have failed in legislatures this year: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Washington

• Statutes permitting gay marriages passed by a legislature: California

• Statutes permitting gay marriages pending in a legislature: New York

• Statutes permitting gay marriages that failed in legislatures: Maine, Rhode Island

• Statutes banning gay marriages pending in legislatures: New Jersey, New York

• Statutes banning gay marriages that failed in legislatures: Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Wyoming

• Lawsuits asking for the right to marry: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Washington, Maryland

• Lawsuits against some form of anti-gay amendment: Nebraska, Georgia, Ohio, Oregon

• States considering opening marriage laws: New Hampshire, through its Marriage Commission

• States where anti-gay activists are trying to force a referendum: California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona